Nigerian journalists have been charged to develop self-pride, adhere strictly to ethical standards, and stop promoting frivolities in order to truely be the public watchdog.
Professional scholars gave the charge at the ongoing two day workshop on “Ethical Journalism: An indispensable asset for media integrity”, organised by the Nigerian Press Council, NPC, in collaboration with Lamforte Resources Limited, for selected journalists across the southwest States of Nigeria.
Speaking at the workshop, held in Akure the Ondo State capital, a lecturer in the department of Mass Communication of Redeemer’s University, Dr. Felix Talabi condemned the way journalists magnify frivolities and undermine merits for financial gain.
In his paper entitled, “Political Violence, National Security and the Nigerian Media: Need for Synergy”, Talabi stressed the need for journalists to hold the government and the powerful accountable to the public, in order to have a better and corruption-free society.
He, however, lamented that the political class has weakened the power of the media through poor remunerations, which subjected majority of journalists to running after scrumb for survival.
According to him, the way the Nigerian media was structured to hold the government accountable was weakened due to poor condition of service, exposure to hazards, job insecurity, nepotism, and inadequate facilities for research.
Dr. Talabi noted that if journalism must survive in Nigeria and its practitioners to perform like their counterparts in the developed countries, there must be a template to operate on.
Also speaking on “Code of Ethics: A tool for Responsible and Objective Reporting”, Dr. Bisi Olawumi from Adeleke University, Ede, implored journalists to develop self-value and avoiding running after scrumb.
According to him, adherence to the code of ethics separates the true professional journalists from charlatans, while describing the lack of professional trainings for so many so-called journalists as one of the constraints to observance of the ethical standards.
Dr. Raphael Abimbola from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, while speaking on “Fake News versus Media Integrity: The role of Gatekeepers”, noted that the integrity of the media was measured by the ethical standards they adhered to.
According to him, fake news erodes media integrity aside other serious implications, affirming that Nigerian journalists have no regulation in terms of adherence to ethical standards.
Dr. Abimbola added that it is the duty of gatekeepers to maintain media integrity by upholding ethical standards in their day to day operations.
By Mary Agidi